The Ultimate Euro 5-A-Side Team
With fans and pundits across the world selecting their preferred eleven from the Group stages of Euro 2016, we have begun to wonder about a European super-team would fare in various competitions around the world. Would they dominate the opposition before them, or would they fail to translate their egos and individual skills into team work?
We decided that 11 superstars in a single team would be too many, so instead decided to select a 5-a-side outfit from the best performing group stage players…
In Goal: Manuel Neuer
With so few positions available, we debated whether or not to include a keeper at all given the quality of our squad. We erred on the side of caution, however, and selected a performer who also has excellent outfield skills and an ability to read the game. Manuel Neuer has been one of the most solid keepers during the group stages, while he would also be ideal if we were even in need of a rush-keeper!
In Defence: Leonardo Bonucci
With Neuer in goal, we decided to select a single defender in front of the talented German. The obvious choice was the cultured Italian centre-back Leonard Bonucci, who showcased incredible strength, organisation and no little passing ability during Italy’s Group E campaign.
While there is plenty of competition for this single defensive spot (think of the excellent Jerome Boateng, for example) we think that Bonucci would offer the perfect balance of strength and distribution from the back.
In Midfield: Luka Modric and Toni Kroos
German midfielder Toni Kroos was one of the statistical stars of the group stages, while Luka Modric was instrumental in Croatia’s impressive performances against Turkey and the Czech Republic. While injury prevented him from appearing in the group defining game against Spain, the combination of this midfield pairing offers control, creativity and a truly formidable partnership.
If nothing else, out opponents would at least struggle to get the ball off this pair so we would be guaranteed a point!
In Attack: – Gareth Bale
This was a tough choice, particularly with the outstanding Cristiano Ronaldo returning to form in the final group stage game against Hungary. Gareth Bale scored in all three group stage matches, however, leading the Welsh charge against Slovakia and England while starring in the 3-0 thrashing of Russia.
With Bale leading the line and stretching the opposition defence, our 5-a-side team would be extremely difficult to beat. They would certainly be good to watch, although the cost of getting them together in a single space at the same time may be something of a challenge.